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Goodyear introduces DuraSeal technology -- and new tires

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Revolutionary. A first for the industry. These are the terms the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is using to describe its new commercial tire technology that repairs tire punctures when they occur, greatly reducing vehicle downtime and service calls.

Goodyear's DuraSeal technology for commercial truck tires is now available on the company's new mixed service Unisteel G287 MSA and Unisteel G288 MSA tires.

DuraSeal technology is a built-in tire sealant that seals holes up to 1/4-inch in diameter in the tread area. And it can do it again and again without the tire needing to be brought in for repair.

It is a yellow, gel-like rubber compound built into the crown of the tire as part of the belt package. Its easy-to-see color also helps tire repair technicians locate puncture locations.

Since DuraSeal doesn't need to be removed at the time of retreading, "the retreader never sees any mess," says Bethann Barchalk, Goodyear's marketing team leader, mixed service tires.

DuraSeal also is nonflammable, eliminating the threat of chamber fires.

Tire repairs are performed normally, with some differences required in section repair. The company has a retread/repair manual available to explain procedures.

The material adds five to seven pounds to the tire, but does not increase heat build-up, notes Barchalk. Rolling resistance tests performed by the company show the technology has no effect on fuel economy.

As for the new tires, Goodyear's new Unisteel G287 MSA with DuraSeal offers 40% more miles to removal than its predecessor, the Unisteel G286. It has a wide footprint for enhanced cornering and handling.

Other features include:

* increased tread volume for significant mileage improvement.

* an innovative belt package for improved mileage in mixed service conditions.

* a flatter tread radius for optimum cornering and grip.

* a computer-generated tread design that offers reduced noise levels for a quiet ride.

* penetration protectors that resist stone drilling.

The G288 MSA mixed service tire also has the built-in DuraSeal, plus:

* a tread depth of 25/32nds for long mileage and traction.

* a severe service tread compound and an open tread design for off-road and wet traction.

* a wide footprint and a flat tread radius for confident handling.

* a robust belt package.

* a quiet ride from a computer-generated tread design.

* penetration protectors.

The tires were designed to "maximize the performance benefits that each application demands," says Donn Kramer, director, marketing, commercial tire systems.

The company plans a very aggressive tire launch campaign, including dealer ride-and-drives, booths at OTR equipment trade shows, coverage at the company's February dealer conference and an extensive ad campaign.

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